Corey Cushing, Scottsdale, Ariz., endless grit and determination during a busy year landed him at the top of the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) leader board for 2012. His earnings of $329,621 make him the recipient of the Equi-Stat Open Rider Award.Fire and passion are key elements for success in any sport, and especially in the horse world. For 32-year-old
Heading into December’s National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity finals in Fort Worth, Texas, Chad Bushaw ranked just behind cutting’s all-time leading Non-Pro earner, Mary Ann Rapp, and just ahead of Dustin Adams, second on the all-time list, with one show to go in their race to finish as 2012’s top-earning rider.
Not too surprisingly, the year’s last and biggest event decided another tight three-way race between the Non-Pro division’s dominant trio. Thanks to seventh and 17th-place finishes at the 2012 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finals aboard two mares, Pippis Longstocking (Dual Smart Rey x Hyperlena x Smart Little Lena) and Lady Writer (One Time Pepto x Cats Ruby x High Brow Cat), Bushaw secured his third Equi-Stat Non-Pro Award since 2002. He topped the Non-Pro division this time with $286,087 earned during the 2012 season.
Hottish and 5-year-old One Time Royalty, owned by two of his clients, did much of the work establishing Lloyd Cox as cutting’s top Open earner last year. The Fort Morgan, Colo., trainer still wouldn’t have finished as the 2012 Equi-Stat Open Award winner for the third time in 10 years without strong performances by two other customers’ 3-year-olds, plus money he earned with two 4-year-olds he and his wife, Christina, owned.Standout stallions 4-year-old
“Those two horses [Hottish and One Time Royalty] did a lot of it, but most times, it is decided at the [NCHA] Futurity,” Cox said of the Equi-Stat Top Open Rider Award. “We did finish up strong.”